Old bookshop turns over a new leaf

Tim Stoddard and Alicia Shearer outside the new Castleton restaurant
Tim Stoddard and Alicia Shearer outside the new Castleton restaurant

One of the oldest buildings in picturesque Castleton is beginning a new chapter in its 500-year history.

One of the oldest buildings in picturesque Castleton is beginning a new chapter in its 500-year history.

The former Hawkridge antiquarian bookshop, which closed last year, has reopened as a restaurant following major refurbishment.

Now restored, complete with old oak beams and rough stone walls, it opened just four days before Christmas as 1530 The Restaurant, named in honour of the year in which it was built.

Behind the project is local lad Tim Stoddard and his partner Alicia Shearer.

Tim has lived in the Hope Valley all his life, apart from five years spent in Australia – during which time he met Alicia.

Their head chef is Rian Skidmore, former sous chef at the nearby Losehill House Hotel.

His menu features everything from freshly-made pizza (£6.95) to more elaborate dishes such as chicken breast stuffed with pesto mousse, fondant potato and beans in pancetta and basil butter sauce (£11.95) or pan-fried fillet of sea bass with saffron potato, tomato olive and herb salad and pepper reduction (£12.95). The new restaurant is open six days a week from midday (closed all day Tuesday).

Tim and Alicia are hoping to appeal to people from the surrounding area, as well as to locals, walkers and tourists who flock to Castleton all year round.

“People are very welcome to call in for a drink, whether it’s a glass of wine or just a coffee,” says Tim.

By night the building takes on a cosy feel with soft lighting and candles adding to the character.

l1530 The Restaurant is at Cruck Barn, Cross Street, Castleton. Bookings: (014 33) 621870 or email enquiries@1530therestaurant.co.uk

Lesley Draper